If you think plane rides are scary for passengers, think about the flight attendants who have to deal with crazy people every day. They have to deal with passengers fondling themselves and each other, them eating each others’ meals, dead people being smuggled onto the aircraft and more. If you’d like to find out why it’s easier to sympathize with air hostesses and not the paying customers, just keep reading.
40. A Really Hungry Passenger
I was giving out breakfast two hours before landing on a night flight; a lot of passengers were still sleeping. When they do, and if I can drop the table, I will and put their breakfast tray on it. Otherwise, I would go back and forth for ages as passengers slowly wake up one after the other.
After breakfast, I was picking up the empty trays when this one passenger asked me for his breakfast. I did put his breakfast on his table, but the guy sitting near him just ate it! I couldn’t believe it! He ate his breakfast and the one belonging to his seatmate! Fortunately, we had a couple of passengers who didn’t want their breakfast, so I had a couple of extra ones. But wow…. I was lost for words.
39. “One Pillow Per Passenger”
Two Asian men, one in his 30s and the other in his 60s, almost got in a fight on a more than half-empty flight from SFO to Osaka because the 60-year-old was not happy that the younger guy was using the pillow from the empty seat.
The old man kept yelling, “NO! One pillow per passenger! NO!” and trying to take the pillow away. The younger guy just had this ‘what the heck?’ look on his face. Laughs were had (not by them) and the flight attendants and captain had to get involved.
38. Stop It Raj!
I’m not an attendant, but once, I was boarding a flight from Dubai and on board was a passenger named Raj (as he told me when I was taking my seat).
After having some wine, he lost control- maybe it was the first time for him. He called an attendant, almost dropped his pants and asked her to help him reach the big ‘O.’
37. Getting Busy in Business Class
I work for an airline and some of the stories of people touching themselves on board are pretty creepy. One guy apparently got off on the feeling of taking off and landing.
A flight attendant had to ask him ever so politely to stop. He was in business class, so I guess a little too much privacy can go along way.
36. Cheaper This Way
My mother was a flight attendant for 26 years, and the strangest thing that happened to her (besides the frequent “sir, please, you have to stop fondling yourself”) was an elderly woman who got caught on the plane with her granddaughters (in their 20s).
My mom immediately noticed something was off, as people in wheelchairs need to be taken on to the plane ahead of time. The granddaughters would not leave her, not so weird, but the grandma was asleep so she couldn’t answer questions. Eventually, they try to get her on the plane, with much convincing from the daughters. It turns out, halfway through the flight, they discover the woman is dead. When the plane landed, everyone got interrogated to make sure she died ‘naturally,’ and it turned out the granddaughters knew the whole time and we’re just trying to get her to America cause moving dead bodies internationally is difficult. They almost got away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling flight attendants.
35. The Creepy Guy Next Door
On an Indian flight with Emirates, there was a mom who complained that the passenger sitting next to her 12-year-old daughter was grabbing her thigh.
The guy didn’t say a word and did not dispute what the woman said. But when we moved him to another seat, he said: “I’m sorry, I misbehaved.” That was really creepy.
34. Too Many Inappropriate Things
It was a regular day as far as the cabin crew life was concerned. I was operating a flight from my base (Mumbai) to Coimbatore. I was working in the aft(rear or back section of the aircraft). All the passengers were boarded. We all were set for the journey and the aircraft started to taxi towards the runway. The safety demonstration was going on when suddenly I heard an old lady who apparently came on a wheelchair shouting. I was the nearest crew who could come to help so when I went and enquired. When I went to her, I could see her in a state of shock. The passenger who was seated beside her was told me that the woman was his mother and since it was her first flight, she was a little scared. So I left the scene, but I had my doubts, so I again went to the lady.
To my horror, I saw the same passenger touching that lady inappropriately. I confronted the passenger and asked for the boarding pass as my manifest (a document which has all the passengers names and seat numbers) was showing that a family member was sitting with that lady. When I took the boarding pass, I saw he was a different passenger. He was not his family member. I immediately called the captain and told him about this incident. The captain was proactive and made an announcement that we are going back to the parking bay. The aircraft doors were opened and the passenger was handed over to the CISF. I was called for an inquiry by the police and gave my statement too. I don’t know what happened with that guy, but I did what I could do best. I too was in a state of shock as I still can’t believe how a 40+yr old guy could behave like this with an old lady who could be in her late 60s.
33. Offering His Services
My godmother told a story of how, when she was an air hostess, a businessman in first class was very insistent that she join him in the bathroom…
She reported this to her very male, very gay, cabin supervisor who proceeded to grab the man by the arm and very loudly offer his services if the man really wanted a cabin crew member. The man declined for some reason.
32. The Toenail Fiasco
My friend is a flight attendant for Malaysia Air. She told me a man was clipping his toenails during the flight when he ripped one of them badly and blood began gushing out. The man next to him passed-out at the sight of the blood.
Toenail man limped out of his seat to approach my friend for help with his hands covered in blood and patted her on her shoulder, leaving a bloody hand-print on her clothes. Toenail man said to her, “I’m bleeding and” – points to passed out man – “he’s dead.” She and other passenger panicked thinking he killed him. They turned the plane around which was 30 minutes after takeoff.
31. Gingerale With A Side of Puke
I was a flight attendant for Delta. On one flight, I was serving the passengers and parked my cart to ask a guy what he wanted to drink.
He started to answer, then held up a finger, puked into a plastic grocery bag, and then went on to ask me for a ginger ale. I was speechless.
30. Raining Fish and Maggots
Halfway through the flight near the back of the plane, the overhead bin started raining maggots on the passengers in one row — just pouring through.
A passenger had flown in from Africa and was traveling to the US via Europe, and had a whole dead fish filled with maggots wrapped inside a newspaper (apparently it’s considered a delicacy in some parts of the world)
29. Entertainment, then Silence
The most memorable passenger was on a one and a half hour evening flight. One passenger, visibly inebriated, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”
He even sang a couple of verses from “Yankee Doodle” for a while (30 minutes or so) before passing out until landing.
28. Trying To Make An Emergency Exist
An elderly man suddenly got up, put on his jacket and sixpence, pulled his carry-on from the overhead and proceeded to try to open the door to get off. When he was told to leave the door alone, he lost it and had to be overpowered.
That wasn’t very hard, as he was a frail old man, but nobody could convince him that it’s a really bad idea to open the door when you’re at cruising altitude.
27. Wrong Accusation
I had a black couple sit in the wrong seats, so when we (me and my colleague who happens to be blackest of black) asked to see their boarding pass they gave it to us and we politely told them how they are actually seated five rows behind and not in this row; they started screaming at us how we are racist and they are going to sue us.
My black colleague simply goes “I’m racist???” and stretches out her arm against their arm to show they are the same color.
26. All-Night Flights
I was a flight attendant for American Airlines and flew the all-nighter from NYC to San Juan for a year on 747s. On a couple of occasions, hookers would saunter around the plane, hitting on guys who looked as if they were traveling alone. I’d see them occasionally sneaking into a lavatory with one of the guys.
Some of them did enough business to pay their fare. The all-nighters were a perfect place to pull this off because after meal service, we’d dim the lights and most people would be sleeping for a couple of hours.
25. The Guessing Game
I was flying Frankfurt to Chicago on Lufthansa. Back when I worked for a good company, we flew business class. About three rows up from us was this obnoxious Asian guy with a cowboy hat on, and he would hit the call button and yell out what he wanted.
So he would be like “Get Me Spwite,” “Get me Herrnessy,” all with this country twang that had me wanting to crack up. Me and the guy next to me made a little game with what he would ask for next. I’ve never been happier to hear, “Get me Cashew nurts.”
24. Foot Love
There were two older ladies who were sitting, and every time we would walk by, they would look uncomfortable but wouldn’t say anything. Only afterward did we investigate. There was an older man who had some sort of foot fetish or fascination with these two ladies’ feet, so he had crawled in under his seat and you couldn’t see him then.
He was just kissing their feet, caressing them and tickling their feet. They were so proper but so horrified that they were too embarrassed to talk about it.
23. “It Sounded Like Jurassic Park”
I have always been terrified of vomit. I just. Can’t. Do it. I was working red-eye from Seattle to Atlanta and we hit some pretty rough air. Although the pilots tried their best to find a smoother route, they just couldn’t. The roller coaster ride lasted about an hour.
Before I knew it, a lady in the middle seat of the last row upchucked her dinner everywhere. That’s when it all started. It was a domino effect. The entire last two rows of passengers were puking. It sounded like Jurassic Park.
22. The Bag of Pee
“I had a passenger that was already pretty drunk when he boarded the plane. Maybe five or six hours into the San-Francisco-to-Sydney flight, the guy comes to the back of the plane. Even though we have a lot of bathrooms on this flight, he started peeing in the trash bag hanging on the door.
We stopped him and brought him back to his seat. That’s when we saw he had an open bottle of bubbly and we realized he must have been getting more inebriated during the flight. The rest of the flight, we were basically force-feeding him food, water, and also trying to get him to sleep. As for the bag of pee, we put it in a hazmat bag and locked it in one of the bathrooms for the rest of the flight.
21. No Words
This woman was walking off and was trying to hand another flight attendant her full sick bag. She said, “You can throw it away in the terminal, but I can’t take it because it’s a biohazard basically.”
The passenger rips open the bag of vomit and throws it on my poor flight attendant, then scratches the flight attendant across the face. The cops came down and met us at the gate. This is why you don’t mix cocktails and sleeping pills.
20. The Size of A Cow Patty
After a flight, I was cleaning the plane and realized a passenger had taken everything out of her seat pocket and put it on the seat.
Luckily I was wearing gloves because I moved everything and there was a cow patty-sized poop on the seat. I don’t know how she did it without anyone seeing or saying anything.
19. Horsing Around
Some flights have a mini stable in the back of the plane to transport horses. If the animals start to act up, they’ll be tranquilized to avoid damaging the plane or passengers—but one time the tranquilizer didn’t work.
The horse did freak out, and when the handler came to take care of it, it kicked the handler and we had to supply medical first aid.
18. Selling On eBay
One of my favorite funny announcements made by a crew member once was: “Ladies and gentlemen, please check in the seat pockets, underneath the seats, and in the overhead lockers.
Any items left behind will be evenly distributed between the crew and you may end up buying back your lost property off eBay in the near future!”
17. Taking Bribes
On a 3 a.m. flight from a mining town, most of the passengers were male miners, except for two female passengers, who seemed to be strippers.
By 4 a.m., they had tons to drink and were making a game of walking through the aisles, taking bribes on who was going to take them into the lavatory. We don’t know who the lucky winner was on that flight because we think they felt us hawk-eyeing them.
16. Seizures and Stuff
A passenger is slumped all over in the aisle, his eyes are kind of rolled in the back of his head and there’s vomit all over him, so we’re thinking it’s a seizure. There ends up being an ER nurse on board, next to a woman who clearly had a few drinks. We’re trying to get her out of the aisle and the woman is saying, “I’ll come too because my dad is a doctor and I know how to deal with this situation.”
By the time I get back, this poor ER nurse is covered in vomit, and we start asking the seizure guy, “What’s wrong? Do you have a preexisting condition? Are you on any medication?” He just sits up and says, “Oh my God, I’m so wasted.” By the time we get to Albuquerque, the poor nurse was still covered in throw up and the guy had no idea what city he was in or who was picking him up or if he’d driven. We had a wheelchair pick him up and take him down to baggage.
15. Hosed Down
This is probably my favorite story about a gentleman who went into one of the lavatories to relieve himself. As he flushed and opened the gooseneck valve to the tank, the plane hit a pocket of dead air and dropped, like 15 feet vertically.
Everything in the tank proceeded upwards at the speed of gravity. He was covered in his feces. They had to hose him off on the tarmac upon arrival.
14. Serve Me Faster!
There was a woman who got angry at me because we didn’t serve her drinks fast enough. After she had her drink, she threw the empty cup at me, which hit me in the nose. Then she broke down and said she didn’t understand why I had been so mean to her, because I didn’t serve her drink fast enough.
She said something along the lines of, “You have no idea who I am.” So my partner and I were like, “Who are you?” And she just goes, “I’m a dancer.”
13. The Case of the Missing Teeth
We were in the middle of boarding and a little old lady comes up to me in an absolute panic because she realized that she left her teeth in a bathroom in the airport. She was really upset because it was Thanksgiving, and she was visiting her family, and she needed her teeth to eat.
I spent 10 minutes talking to the captain and people at the gate to try and locate her teeth. They were found eventually, but the plane had to leave, so we had to FedEx them to her.
12. Allergic to What-er
I was in the back in the plane during boarding because I was in charge of getting the galley together. Someone comes up to me and asks if she can have a glass of ice water.
I told her I didn’t have my ice broken up yet, but I could give her a normal cup of water. Then she goes, “Never mind, I’m allergic to water that doesn’t have ice in it.”
11. Smearing and Cleaning
The grossest story I have is when someone smeared poop all over one of the bathrooms during a 14-hour flight to China. It smelled putrid.
We put up an out of order sign, but then a couple of hours later, someone had gone in and cleaned it up! We figured it was a kid and one of the parents had snuck in after.
10. Fighting Mid-Air
I am a flight attendant for AA. A few months ago, two men sitting next to each other started getting very physical over the armrest. It escalated quickly and one guy ended up having his nose broken.
As if this weren’t stressful enough, there was a pregnant woman near them that obviously was in danger of a stray punch. On the street, you can just walk away, but it’s quite terrifying when everyone looks at you to sort it out!
9. Caught In The Act
I was on a flight from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, and it was the middle of the night. A woman came to tell me that she woke up and the young adult male next to her was fondling himself under a blanket.
We went back to the seat and saw it happening. He actually finished into the blanket, which we threw away in a hazmat. To make things worse, he was also sitting next to his mom. We woke up her up, and she scolded him and apologized to us — she didn’t want him to get in trouble.
8. Puke On Aisle One
We had a school group of young children sitting in front of the plane. I knew then and there that something would go wrong because…kids.
On takeoff, one little boy leaned over into the aisle and threw up. The puke rolled and splashed down the aisle almost all the way to the back galley.
7. Leaving Something Lacy Behind
On a 5 a.m. flight from Houston to Dallas—which is 30 minutes, if that—a woman had left her frilly pink underwear in the lavatory.
It was like she was trying to throw it away and left half of it in but left the rest hanging out, so she wasn’t trying to hide it. I’ll never know why she chose to do that.
6. All She Needed Was One Foot
The most random has to be the single and very expensive Christian Louboutin shoe. How the heck can you leave behind one shoe? Surely you would notice the limp you’d inevitably have as you disembarked- one foot six inches higher than the other.
The female passenger in question, a minor TV ‘star,’ had been enjoying the perks of first-class and was rather worse for wear as she got off the aircraft at JFK. Blissfully unaware she was missing a shoe, the crew thankfully reunited her with the designer heel before she reached the top of the air-bridge.
5. Baby Emergency
I had two twin boys on my flight. Their mom was in such pain trying to deal with the boys on a two-and-half-hour flight. She said she wanted to apologize for the mess, and I thought they’d smashed up animal crackers or something.
But she’d spilled an entire thing of baby formula on the seat and stuffed a diaper in the seat pocket, I found a hamburger patty on the seat, and one kid had vomited in the seat pocket. There’s not much we could do about it, so we had to block up the rows until we could get into another base.
4. Too Much Handy-work
I’m a former flight attendant, but I once had a passenger give her husband some loving with her hand on an evening flight. The cabin lights were off, but they had their overhead light on and I was disturbed. I signaled for her other FA and she turned on the cabin lights, they stopped.
Later on, I saw that same woman picking her nose. It’s safe to say that when I was doing drink service, I set her drink on her tray table without ever touching her hands.
3. A Really Smelly Child
Flying from Rome to Melbourne, there was a family across the aisle in business class with three children, the parents promptly fell asleep and left the children to run wild. Later, as I was served my meal, the smallest child appeared at the side of my seat and it became obvious his nappy was overflowing and stunk to high heaven! I asked the cabin crew to do something about it and was told sorry, there is not much we can do.
So I told the child that through the curtain they were giving away free chocolate (pointing towards first class) and he took the bait; moments later, the smelly child appeared with a first-class member of the crew and was deposited at the parents feet who were told to fix the nappy and control the child or be moved to the back of the plane. Problem solved!
2. A Nice Pile of Heel Skin and Toenails
I once had a passenger take off his shoes, put his dirty feet on the seat and clip all of his toenails. It was rude and there were toenails flying everywhere.
In addition to the toenails, he also left a nice pile of his hacked off heel skin on the seat for someone else to deal with. Not me!
1. Aisle Avocado, Seat Carrot
On a flight coming home from Vegas, this crazy man sits down in a random seat, so once the actual people who are assigned to that seat come along, he starts snapping his fingers at me.
Well, there was about to be lots of drama, but I thought ahead to prevent this from happening. I ask to see his boarding pass and he hands me a grocery store receipt…